The saga was not over yet. Raleys Solicitors appealed to the Supreme Court, where the Qualification Act for Satisfying a Loss of Opportunity Case was retracted to its fundamental foundations, including an inquiry into the Allied Maples Principles. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal`s decision and ruled that the applicant`s application should be dismissed. The Supreme Court has ruled that the next step for a judge is to look at what third parties would have done. If Raleys had properly advised the plaintiff in this matter and if the plaintiff had sought special damages and if this claim had been sufficiently honest, would DTI have accepted it and/or rendered judgment on special damages? The question of what action a third party could have taken is equally crucial, as it is a tool that allows a judge to measure deductions to compensation for loss of opportunity, with a deduction of up to 100%. While the Supreme Court`s decisions have reconsidered elements of the Allied Maples test, in both cases the judgments are limited to the circumstances of the case. It was clarified that a “lost dispute” is no different from any other claim for loss of opportunity and an examination of the underlying facts to determine whether the claimant has lost anything of value. Moreover, there is a presumption that such claims will be pursued on an honest basis. By way of derogation from the above findings in Edwards, courts have previously considered a “subsequent event” where the hypothesis would not meet the normal principles of loss of opportunity between the parties to a significant or serious extent.
Whitehead v. Searl  EWCA Civ 285 involved a case of wrongful birth in which the main losses were the past and future care of the child by the mother. Due to the negligent delay of the mother`s lawyers in the litigation, the mother committed suicide before future care costs had been reimbursed. The Court of Appeal held that the mother`s lawyers should not be held liable for providing the plaintiff (the deceased mother`s estate) with an indefinite advantage if a narrow application of restitutio in integrum (which would have restored the plaintiff to the situation that would have prevailed in the absence of prejudice suffered) would have been a stroke of luck for the plaintiff. The Supreme Court has held that to prove a claim for loss of opportunity, the plaintiff must prove, after weighing the probability, that he or she would have undertaken a particular act or action. A judge may medico-legally consider what a plaintiff would have done if an event had occurred. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled: Raleys Solicitors, which had since filed for bankruptcy and had its claim dealt with by its professional liability insurers, admitted that it had breached its duty of care to the plaintiff, but argued the case on the grounds that the breach of duty had caused no prejudice to the plaintiff. In 2019, the Supreme Court considered the application of the loss doctrine to gambling and how to apply it in the particular circumstances of two “lost litigation” cases.
Both cases involved plaintiffs who had suffered a vibration of the finger as a result of their underage work. In the main lawsuit against the British Coal Corporation, the two plaintiffs were not advised by their lawyers to use “services” because they were unable to perform daily household activities due to the injury, and they continued for the missed opportunity to pursue this loss. The decision confirms that it is inappropriate to conduct a procedure within a procedure. However, in cases where an investigation is required, some level of forensic investigation is inevitable. It will not be enough to take a plaintiff`s word at face value, and while that word at face value may be a step that can be considered dishonest, a lawsuit for loss of opportunity will fail at the first hurdle. Equally important are the steps that may have been taken by other parties concerned in reaching a decision. How can a claim with an alleged value of £17,000 be approved by Leeds County Court, to be quashed by the Court of Appeal, and then quashed again by the Supreme Court? How can a claimant who is injured at work meet the burden of proof that they would have had the opportunity to perform certain duties or actions if the injury had not occurred? A recent Supreme Court decision in Perry (Respondent) v. Raleys Solicitors (Appellant)  UKSC 5 highlighted the confusing principles to be considered when assessing loss of opportunity claims. The facts of the case The plaintiff was a minor who suffered from Vibration White Finger (“VWF”), a condition caused by prolonged use of vibrating tools and machines. This can lead to numbness, severe pain, and loss of manual dexterity. In 1996, he instructed Raley`s lawyers to take legal action against the Department of Trade and Industry (“DTI”) for losses attributable to its violation. At the time, such claims were common, and a government system was established to administer these claims.
In 1999, the DTI offered £11,600 to settle his claim. The applicant agreed. However, the claim was only for general damages. This includes physical injury, pain and suffering. It did not cover any specific damage compensating the applicants for their inability to provide certain services. In this case, the plaintiff was unable to perform services related to ordinary household chores such as gardening, window cleaning, DIY, car maintenance and decoration. After 16 years, the plaintiff decided to sue Raleys Solicitors for negligent handling of her claim, stating that she had not informed him of her possible claim for special damages. He argued that if he had been advised to a reasonable standard, he would have received an additional £17,300 from the DTI. The stage was set. The Raleys Solicitors case, which had since gone bankrupt and whose claim had been enforced by its professional liability insurers, admitted that it had breached its duty of care to the plaintiff, but argued the case on the grounds that the breach of duty had not caused any prejudice to the plaintiff.
The case was heard by Leeds County Court, where the judge concluded that, had he been properly advised, the applicant would not have sought sufficiently honest services. The applicant provided evidence that he was unable to perform household chores without assistance, but that he was “undermined by his medical records.” Consequently, the applicant`s action was dismissed. The plaintiff decided to appeal this judgment, after which the Court of Appeal set aside the trial judgment on the grounds that the court had conducted a “proceeding within a proceeding” in which the plaintiff had to prove the facts after weighing the probabilities. That is not permissible in order to prevent the Court from taking its time in satellite proceedings and hearing the details of proceedings in the main proceedings, and then proceeding to hear the substance and inferiority of the ancillary proceedings against the new defendant. According to the Court of Appeal, the Leeds judge should have awarded the plaintiff £14,565.15 plus interest. The saga was not over yet. Raleys Solicitors appealed to the Supreme Court, where the Qualification Act for Satisfying a Loss of Opportunity Case was retracted to its fundamental foundations, including an inquiry into the Allied Maples Principles.